Book Review

Orbit Books Review Day

I pretty much had a very Orbit Books oriented month so far so I thought it only right to go ahead and screech about all these books at once on my blog!


The Last Smile in Sunder City


A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that’s lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold. Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain.I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:1. Sobriety costs extra.2. My services are confidential.3. I don’t work for humans. It’s nothing personal–I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help. Walk the streets of Sunder City and meet Fetch, his magical clients, and a darkly imagined world perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.

Book Details
Title: The Last Smile in Sunder City
Series: The Fetch Phillips Archives [Book 1]
Author: Luke Arnold
Published by : Orbit Books
Publication Date: February 6, 2020
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook

My Review

This book is the start of a beautiful friendship between Fetch Phillips and myself!

For anyone who likes fantasy mystery stories, you’re in for a treat, well, I hope you’ll agree anyway!

I read Jim Butcher’s Storm Front last year and though I really really enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy the sexism that graced the pages.

Luke Arnold doesn’t do this at all, in fact, this was not the usual ‘I’m a loner detective and batting off women left and right.’

Oh, to be sure Fetch does seem to have a charm all his own but he’s so real and full of flaws, ones that no one glosses over, including the characters he interacts with.

This world-building as fantastic! I was a little surprised at how well it’s done! Arnold gives us a new world with a very unique magic system or lack thereof, and he doesn’t back down from giving you a multitude of magical creatures and people while showing the side effects of the lack of magic for them.

The whole time there’s a bigger picture, and the guilt that Fetch feels over it is so genuine I just couldn’t get over how much I enjoyed his story while also loving the mystery he was hired to solve.

A private eye with a drinking problem, an array of contacts, and a girl on his mind. These things sound like every private eye detective story but Luke Arnold breathes new life into it and I will be first in line for the next book.

Thank you to Orbit Books for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.


The Wolf of Oren-yaro (2020)


A queen of a divided land must unite her people, even if they hate her, even if it means stopping a ruin that she helped create. A debut epic fantasy from an exciting new voice.
“I murdered a man and made my husband leave the night before they crowned me.”
Born under the crumbling towers of Oren-Yaro, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves that nearly tore her nation apart. Her upcoming marriage to the son of her father’s rival heralds peaceful days to come.
But his sudden departure before their reign begins fractures the kingdom beyond repair.
Years later, Talyien receives a message, urging her to attend a meeting across the sea. It’s meant to be an effort at reconciliation, but an assassination attempt leaves the queen stranded and desperate to survive in a dangerous land. With no idea who she can trust, she’s on her own as she struggles to fight her way home.

Book Details:
Title: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro
Series: The Chronicles of the Bitch Queen [Book 1]
Author: K.S. Villoso
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication date: 18 February 2020
Pages: 496
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Formats: Paperback, eBook, Kindle

My Review
[And my full blog tour post here]

A lush high fantasy with a greatly written MC. I mean the hashtag for this is #hailthebitchqueen do I really need to write out the reasons she’s awesome? Okay, I’ll list a few. She is badass but super vulnerable underneath all her pointy layers. She’s like Shrek, an ogre/onion with layers. More than that though she is a supremely flawed character with the best intentions at heart and I loved that about our Queen so much. Yes, our, I’ve decided she’s my Queen too, I’m now Oren-Yaro made. Another reason to like her is that she’s actually a huge cinnamon roll in disguise and her love is so strong that it sends on her the craziest missions for those she cares for.

Also, this is first-person told from the MC’s perspective and it’s really refreshing to read a fantasy done in that POV.

Despite all the fierce fighting, assassination attempts, political turmoil, and plots under plots, this was actually a story of love. Not a romance, but how one person’s heart can cause so much trouble and love so fiercely for her people, her son, her husband, and wow, let me tell you, that level of love isn’t really given to us in a lot of fantasy books.

The world-building is on point, it’s a diverse and rich world and we’ve only seen the tip of it! That’s beyond impressive, especially because Villoso’s world-building never detracts from the plot/storyline, instead, it constantly enhances it.

There are probably at least 52 reasons I could give you to read this book but about 26 of those reasons are Talyien centred.

Thank you so much to Caffeine Tours and Orbit Books for an eARC of this, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review as part of the tour. It felt like an honour to be part of this and I’m really excited to read more reviews from this tour. [Also remember the first leg of this tour was in December, check out their posts when you get a chance!]



‘Hilarious and heartwarming . . . my shields are at full strength and my heart is ready for Eva’s next adventure’ Patrick Weekes, Lead writer at BioWare (Dragon Age, Mass Effect)
A debut space opera that features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her misfit crew . . .
Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister is kidnapped, Eva must undergo a series of dangerous missions to pay the ransom. But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead, and her engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.
To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

Book Details:
Title: Chilling Effect
Series: Chilling Effect [Book 1]
Author: Valerie Valdes
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication Date: February 13, 2020
Pages: 464
Genre: Scifi Space Opera
Formats: Paperback, Kindle

My Review

I’m a huge Mass Effect fan, like as I speak, one of the bookmarks on my bookmark bar for this browser is ’15 Reasons Why Garrus Vakarian is the Perfect Boyfriend.’

I keep it there to look at it when I feel like it.

So, going into this book, I was not expecting a huge ode to Mass Effect wrapped up in a Space Opera that has adventures and misadventures with the turn of every page.

Eva Innocente [to shorten her name for ease] is a Captain who is really the Jack Sparrow of space, you know if he were trying to be more legal. She’s more infamous than anything and trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes. She’s got a crew that is loyal beyond reason at times, but that doesn’t stop them from calling her out on her crap, so they’re loveable and you instantly want to be part of their camaraderie.

Eva is put in a questionable position, a secret organization has her sister, and unless she makes runs for them to pay off the debt, her sister is going to be in Cryo until they decide to use her for hard labour [mining]. The catch? She cannot tell her crew, or anyone, that this is their deal.

So Eva attempts to juggle her crew, keeping them at the dark, and dealing with their tasks to get her sister back. But, it almost is like she’s cursed, there’s trouble at every turn and at times you just want to shake Eva for the choices she makes, but she’s reactive and dealing with things as they come, and sometimes she just has little in the way of options/choices.

This book even has its own Garrus Vakarian, his name is Vakar, and his feelings are put out in scents and I love that so much. Eva and her crew are put to the test, but can they stay together? And what is Eva going to do with all those psychic cats?

If you enjoy Scifi I definitely recommend this stunning Space Opera, especially if you’re a Mass Effect fan. Five huge cups of coffee from me, thank you so much to Orbit Books [Specifically Nazia] for a copy of this exchange for my honest opinion.

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

5 replies on “Orbit Books Review Day”

i’ve been seeing such positive opinions on the wolf of oren-yaro, and its already added to my wish list. chilling effect also sounds interesting. great review!

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s